'Trends', a new magazine launched in India by WWM & Times group JV. In fact, it is not a magazine but it is a series of topical books which are in shape of magazines. Since these are produced this way and made available at premium book & magazine stores only, they are positioned as ‘bookazines’. For the longer shelf life these bookazines don’t have the publication date on the cover. In order to follow the trend of its International edition, the Indian edition will also have 10 issues only in a year.
‘Trends’, as they claim, is the most read reference world-wide by the professional designers & architects. It has already 10 international editions (http://trendsideas.com) before coming to India. Internationally it has various titles like Home and Apartments, Kitchen, Renovation, Exteriors, Commercial Spaces, and bathrooms etc. But, here in India only Home series is launched.
They call it a great source of reference but I see it as just a compilation of couple of good home designs. To broaden the scope of content they have included Kitchen, Interior, garden & commercial designs altogether in single title- Home Trends.
‘Home Trends’ is collective showcase of (mostly) International & Indian designs. It is good for the professionals to get the ideas and perhaps to showcase their work here.
Though it is not in a regular magazine format, still it has some sections those, more or less are the compartments in which they have put similar designs together. In the name of article, there are around a ten of beautiful pictures of every design and very few words (400 on an average) for layout in 6-8 pages, that’s it. Inaugural issue has showcased almost 25 designs in one issue but all (well, most of them) are in the same layout. This monotonous presentation makes it even more look like a catalog or a brochure for ideas only.
Text is very less in the entire the magazine hence very less is left to do for the sub editors. Still there are lots of widow & orphan linesacross the magazine. Photo Captions are good & are quite helpful to understand the rationale behind the design. Very few designs (articles) only have floor plans along with the photographs.
Though the magazine has some compartments to keep similar articles together, but design of this magazine is failed to highlight those compartments. They are visible only on content’s page.
Design, as I said earlier is very-very monotonous. And still it is not perfect or flawless. Since the magazine has very less design elements, it could be just flawless. But there are carelessly placed elements or images which makes a lousy layout. Most of the Photographs used in the magazine are excellent and gives a classy feel to the magazine as a whole.
Across the magazine, column width of body text keeps changing from article to article in order to adjust with the photographs. Few photographs are going into the bleed and on the opposite page only, other photographs are placed in page area!
It is understandable that parent brand has its own design guidelines to follow but those can be tweaked (with mutual consensus obviously) little bit keeping the socio-psycho understanding of local audience in the mind. Cover, as the trend of ‘Trends’ carries one beautiful photograph to represent the title and that’s it… No cover story, no theme on the cover! I think, keeping the positioning of this product in the mind, it is kept deliberately that way. It may not be good for newsstand/shelf sale but I think that publisher of ‘trends’ might have thought of compensating this dip in sale in some other way.
In India, putting one photograph (only) on the cover is going to be more problematic for store sale because unlike its international editions here, all the issues will have same title- ‘Home’, that may confuse the buyer and people can miss some issues.
Entire magazine is photographs heavy and photographs used in the magazine are just excellent. Same level of prepress job has enhanced even more the visual appeal of the product. Printing of the magazine is good.
Paper which is average for a magazine but I think it should be better than a normal magazine’s paper as it is going to have longer shelf life and it is going to be kept as a collectible. ‘Trends’ is available in modern retails outlets and prime newsstands at cover price of Rs250. Looking at the quantity and the quality of ‘ideas’ a professional designer can get from an issue, the price is fine. Still, at the same price if it could have used better paper, it was just perfect.
Finally, ‘Home Trends’ is a good source for the professional designers who keep looking for ‘new’ ideas and reference.